Reflecting on Lil’ Girl

The one thing about being on a 4 month road trip is that certain forms of art were just not possible. Somewhere around Crater Lake, OR, I noticed how much I miss playing with clay. My tactile needs were not being met. I figured that playing with snow would have to do! As I sculpted this Lil’ Girl snow(wo)man, I could feel that I was getting my need met to make something with my hands–something beyond drawing.

Lil' Girl in Snowman form

In this snow play experience, I had an insight about the evolution of Lil’ Girl. 

Flashback to 3 years ago when I was taking my first ceramics class and we had a lesson on making snowmen. It was close to the holidays, so what else would we make? I decided to turn a snowman into the character I used to draw when I took a cartooning class in high school. Lil’ Girl in the making!

After putting a head, hair, a snow hat, and a smile on my first snowman, turned snowgirl, my instructor, the amazing KellySue Robinson of Clayopatra Arts, suggested I make the whole figurine of my original character.

Snowman and snowwoman Snowmen dudes hanging out

And that is when I went wild!

Soon, I was creating and revising my Lil’ Girl statues, playing with size, color, position, and activities.

Lil Girl Ceramics 2013

This then inspired me to pick up my pen and paper and play with the character I had developed in a high school cartooning class, and even use her for inspiration as I learned to paint with acrylics.

Lil Girl Talks, Reads, Writes in yin yang

At some point, I began to integrate my character (who is clearly me) in my professional life. My classroom whiteboard often includes a character or two each class–with students as the stars. Next, I got to thinking that maybe I could/should do something more with Lil’ Girl. It was at that time, last summer, when I enrolled in a summer workshop at the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont and began envisioning Lil’ Girl in some sort of book form. I left with my first mini-comic in hand and began thinking about where to take Lil’ Girl next.

Hmmmm, maybe a children’s book, or maybe a graphic novel?

Lil Girl Explores the PNW Min Comic  Lil girl explores home page_edited-1

road trip opening page  Lil Girl Explores Credits page

Now, as I spend this year on research sabbatical, I get to play with my writing and artist endeavors as I work towards my next project.

What’s next you ask?

Get back to me in a year. I’m still thinking…

 

Artwork copyright of Lil’ Girl Art

 

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